On my last post, a dream came true. I shared my SONshine Box with you and the inspiration for it.
Now I get to share what’s INSIDE the box. I’m a few days behind, but it’s worth the wait. Or I should say, she is worth the wait. Because although I’d initially planned to make the Sonshine Box that you see here just for the blog, it turns out God already had a heart picked out to receive it. A precious mama in need of a Heavenly Father’s healing hand. Now isn’t that just like God.
She opened up her last item today. So now that the “gifts are outa the box,” I can finally share the contents with you. But before I do, I hope it’s OK that I share a few words.
After all, it’s a special box that’s been years in the making—literally. Months after my beloved friend passed away, I prayed for God to show me what I could do to keep the faith that He’d set ablaze in my heart alive, and to reveal how I could honor the gift of time spent with her while sharing His transforming love with others.
I received His answer in verses He nearly plunked down from the sky. Right after that prayer-filled and tear-stained moment on Aug. 7, 2005, I opened my Bible to find the answer. The words lit up, hopped off the page, and landed in my lap. A Heavenly gift.
And of all days, my calendar showed it was on Friendship Day. How do I know that? Because when God does the cool God stuff that only He can do, I check the date and jot it down. To remember on days like today.
And to top it off, the next person I gave a Sonshine Box to sent me a thank you card in the mail with Bible verses canvasing the cover.
I almost dropped the card as soon as I saw them. Yep, the same ones God had already given me:
And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! 2 Cor. 9:11-15 (NLT)
That’s what we’re doing here. When we make Sonshine Boxes for others, we’re bringing our gifts. For them—and for Him.
So when you’re hard pressed to think of a gift to give a friend or family member who needs uplifting, there’s no greater gift than a Sonshine Box filled up with love and God’s Word.
Examples of times I’ve given them are when loved ones are going through: cancer and other physical illness, depression, loss, discouragement, loneliness, the challenges of being a single mom or a widow, as well as for Birthday blessing boxes, Christmas blessing boxes, and the list goes on.
But you don’t need a reason to love—and you don’t need a reason to give. Just love. Just give. He’ll do the rest.
FINALLY, WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
A WEEK OF GIFTS AND A LIFETIME OF GOD’S LOVE. Here are the 7 GIFT ITEMS shown above with attached verses that correspond to the gifts:
1. FLOWER PEN: The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry lands and give strength to your bones. You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry. Mark 12:29-30
2. BOOK (Heaven is for Real): So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18
3. CANDLE: I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
4. JOURNAL: Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
5. BIBLE: The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God remains forever. Isaiah 40:8
6. HEAD MASSAGER: Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
7. REMINDER NOTES: Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5
(8. WHAT YOU DON’T SEE, BUT THEY FEEL: Prayer. Pray for the gift recipient before you give the Sonshine Box. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18)
*These are only a few examples of gift items you can include. The key is selecting a bible verse that corresponds with each of the gifts.
Examples of other gift items: lotion, bubble bath, nail file kit, coffee mug, etc. They can be simple and inexpensive items, but with His Word attached and your love thrown in, they’re priceless.
Although I use picture boxes from craft stores to place the gifts in, my family member wraps empty shoeboxes with yellow wrapping paper, and keeps them on hand for the many times God’s prompted her heart to make one. Then you simply wrap each item in tissue paper or wrapping paper, tape your Bible verse card to each item, and you’re done.
And when their week of unwrapping gifts is up, they’ve still got bible verse cards–and His word–to hold onto forever.
Sonshine boxes are super easy to make on your own, and fun and rewarding to make as a group. I enlisted helpful hands and received answered prayers for the featured one photographed here. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention who some of the helping hands and praying hearts belonged to. Stacy Naquin of Stacy Naquin Interiors helped me make the pictures as cute as they could be. And in a prior post I told you of one of the borrowed mamas God connected me with. After I shared my heart (and box) with Merri Dennis of Bible Crafts and Activities at a blogging conference, she contacted me afterwards and offered to make the Sonshine Box printable file for my site. (Can you say God is good?!) Thank God for gifts—and friends—too wonderful for words.
When you subscribe to this blog, you’ll be given a free printable file of the above gift card and 24 bible verse cards for you to print out and select from for your Sonshine Box. Print them onto card stock so they’re durable. (You subscribe by scrolling all the way to the bottom, clicking on follow, and entering your email for a weekly emailed blog post. The pdf file will be in your confirmation email. From a computer, the subscribe option will be on the sidebar.)
And please, when you make and give your Sonshine Boxes, come back here and tell me all about it. I already know the God stories you’ll have. I’ve prayed for them—and your answers are in the making.
But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. Malachi 4:2 (NLT)
Thank you for reading along and walking along with me. It would sure bless me if you subscribed to my weekly emailed blog posts, and I hope to bless you right back.